Employment-wise, Alabama, the Cotton State, is a diverse state, ranging from manual agricultural jobs to high-tech careers.
In 1987, the state recognized the importance of engineering and created the Engineering Hall of Fame in Montgomery. The Engineering Hall of Fame honors and preserves the outstanding accomplishments and contributions of individuals, projects, and institutions that have brought and continue to bring significant recognition to the State of Alabama.
Some examples of the institutions that be featured in the Engineering Hall of Fame include those concerning transportation. Since 1993, the state went from producing no cars to being the second largest producer of automobiles in the United States. Alabama now contains more than 300 companies who produce aerospace industry products as well.
Here are some of the larger employers that hire engineering professionals in Alabama: Anniston Army Depot, AT&T, Baptist Medical Ctr South, City of Birmingham, DCH Regional Medical Center, Huntsville Hospital, Hyundai Motor Manufacturing, Infirmary LTAC Hospital, Marshall Space Center, Maxwell Airforce Base, Mercedes-Benz U.S., International, Inc., Regions Financial Corp., State Of Alabama, The Boeing Co., U.S. Army Redstone Arsenal, University of Alabama and WalMart.
Engineering Education in Alabama
From certifications to doctorates, over 40 Alabama schools and colleges offer a variety of engineering programs. The 175-year-old University of Alabama College of Engineering educates engineers in seven fields, including aerospace, computer, metallurgy and more. Many students get their bachelor and master degrees at smaller vocational schools and four-year colleges.
Scholarships for engineering programs are generally available through the government or private companies.
Outlook for Engineering Jobs in Alabama
With Alabama's growing automobile industry and its supporting industries, experts foresee engineering jobs in the state will increase. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), some areas, such as Huntsville, have a strong engineering base. It estimates that over 60 out of every 1,000 workers in that area is an engineer.
The BLS reports that in May 2011, Alabama had the third top employment of aerospace engineers, making it an excellent place for students interested in this field of engineering. Huntsville has the highest concentration of aerospace engineering jobs in the nation.
Generally, salaries for environmental engineers in the Anniston-Oxford area are in the top ten in the U.S., according to the BLS May 2012 report. Additional areas throughout the state need other types of engineers, including sound engineers, health and safety engineers, and engineer instructors.